After the 'battle of the business cases' this week over plans for an inner city rail loop in Auckland, the words of Sam Morgan offer some wisdom to luddite politicians

It seems Steven Joyce is determined to go down in history, joining the list of government politicians that have denied Auckland a fully functioning rail network.

He's hardly the first. Wellington politicians have picked holes in Auckland's desire to have a transport platform other than roads for most of the 20th century, denying funding and insisting the sums don't add up.

This week Joyce followed the precedent, declaring Auckland's business case for a $2.4 billion CBD rail loop "under-cooked".

Its typical political obfuscation and stalling. And given that it's a National government undermining a Labour mayor's key campaign promise, it also has an odour of partisan politics.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Joyce's response was decided months, if not years, ago.

Not that Auckland local body politicians have needed much help hamstringing themselves down the years.

If you watched TVNZ7's Hindsight programme on Auckland transport, you'll have seen that Auckland councillors have stepped out of committee rooms at least three times in the past generation to declare Auckland's transport problems have finally been solved. Ta da: A tram system! Drum roll: Buses that run on a rail! Voila: An inner city train loop! Yep, even that phrase goes back decades.

 

 

This is the start of my post at tvnz.co.nz. To continue reading, click here. But feel free to add comments and debate below.

Comments (11)

by Mr Magoo on June 04, 2011
Mr Magoo

I think you are being overly pessimistic Tim...

by MikeM on June 04, 2011
MikeM

"Wellington politicians have picked holes in Auckland's desire to have a transport platform other than roads for most of the 20th century, denying funding and insisting the sums don't add up."

I take the point of your post, but since you're talking strictly about politicians interfering and not the whole public service, it seems fitting to note that many Ministers and MPs and politicians generally are from anywhere but Wellington, and especially from Auckland.  But yeah, in Joyce's case he grew up in New Plymouth... not exactly the sort of place where people have a hope of living without frequent use of cars.

by DeepRed on June 04, 2011
DeepRed

And of course, there's Prostetnic Vogon Joyce's corresponding denial of the Holiday Highway's negateive BCR. From what I heard, he made Treasury re-cost it until they started telling him what he wanted to hear.

It's heartening to see the Opposition starting to call bullshit on the issue. If only they can get their PR act together and make a proper wedge issue out of it.

by nommopilot on June 04, 2011
nommopilot

"If those MPs in the '50s or '70s had bitten the bullet and built, imagine the billions saved by today."

even the money aside, imagine how many hours of time spent with their parents were/are foregone while said parents were leaving an hour and a half early for work and arriving home an hour and a half after they finished (I'm sure some people appreciate the downtime of sitting in traffic listening to the radio but there must be a more relaxing, less costly and environmentally damaging alternative to crawling your car slowly through traffic for a couple of hours every day)...

congested commuting is the enemy of worklife balance...

by on June 05, 2011
Anonymous

Tim, I might be overly sensitive but can you blame Joyce's dislike of anything but motorways and broadband on anything but his current work address? You sound like Brian Rudman!

Here in the 04 us "loyal" public service minions are watching our city get gutted by spending cuts, our property prices languish and then to top it all off we cop the blame when Christchurchians can't get their houses rebuilt (thanks to a bearacracy headed by a Cantabrian) and Aucklanders can't get some rail built (thanks to decisions made by a cabinet headed by an Aucklander).

As it is Wellington has had it own rail plans scuppered, the one roading project we really need to happen got shelved and we'll see $1 billion taken out of our local economy thanks to spending cuts, while Auckland gets 1/2 a billion for building yet more roads and Christchurch gets $8billion + to rebuild. So how about you focus on the idiots making the bad calls rather than beating up the those of us who just share a dialling code. After all more Aucklanders have voted for past and current govts than Wellingtonians. Rant over

On the actual debate, Aucklanders have never shown much enthusiasm for avoiding urban sprawl or for getting out of their cars, so perhaps the Government we all clearly deserve is simply giving Aucklanders the transport infrastructure it deserves?

 

by MikeM on June 06, 2011
MikeM

Thanks Chris, for spelling it out better than I could. This isn't an "Auckland versus Wellington" thing. Despite matters often being put like that, the the only reason to do so is to rally local support for an imaginary conflict with short catchy phrases that put blame on those silenced from speaking up, as public servants usually are.

People in Auckland have massive amounts of influence over who forms a government. If Aucklanders really want their public transport fixed, perhaps the same people who elect Auckland's council should start standing and electing some MPs and prospective Ministers with whom they can work constructively, and who will actually push for that agenda instead of their own illogical pet projects.

by kathy tuakau on June 15, 2011
kathy tuakau

perhaps you should install the government back in auckland.we unfortunatly are now in northern waikato,per the mr hide who is not coming back,perhaps sometimes what goes around comes around,i always remember the harbour bridge fiascoe,when parliment mucked that up,we still are coping with the end result of that lot.

by on October 15, 2011
Anonymous

Here chanel shoes will notify you what the vogue is. It’s going to give you distinctive experience to hunt for fashionable and comfortable shoes. replica Chanel are not only noble, but also luxurious on the market. Chanel boots are largely designed by depending on the traditional colors of black which is timeless classic, noble and exquisite. While there are also some other types of colors used on Chanel on sale and you can choose whatever you like from them. Chanel High Boot indicate fashionable style vividly and keep the noble spirit ambitiously. Welcome to order cheap Chanel Pump here and you will find some surprises.We are glad you enjoy our chanel outlet, Chanel 2.55 style designed by its cut and polish on the details, innovative technology and excellent lines, contours clearly seen; a sign of elegance in addition to outside, Chanel Long Wallet themselves also with a distinctive profile and avant-garde designs and colors to attract the public eye. so the chanel handbags are very hot sell now , and most customers buy the chanel bags from our online outlet, and receive a lot of good feedback, also attract a lot of new customers come to make order, you should have heard of our company before, so please don't worry and purchase the 100% genuine chanel handbags from our store.

by on March 07, 2012
Anonymous

These types of Burberry Women T shrits have good cushioning within the heel, breathe effectively, are lightweight, and have decent traction. The important thing features of just about any well rounded athletic shoe.

by on May 22, 2012
Anonymous

Have you ever heard of Coach Factory brand, and its Coach Outlet Online series? Coach Factory is a great leather handbags brand. If want to be a center of Coach Outlet Online attraction whenever you go and you have the confidence Coach Outlet of carrying that extra Coach Handbags. It has the most patterns in most colors and you can always choose one from them. Welcome to visit our Coach Purses Outlet. Our Coach Factory Outlet has a variety of collections of Cheap Coach Handbags. Coach Shoulder Bag - All Purple with Coach Brand has polished silver-tone framing on top Coach Outlet Store Online, which then adds more elegance to its totality. Coach Outlet offer items is cheap and fashion. Moreover, the exquisite workmanship makes louis vuitton purses the darling of fashionable ladies. Don't hesitate! Order it, otherwise you will lose the rare chance Coach Outlet Online! If you dress up with the new design of Coach Factory Outlet then you may be more self- confident and charming. All the shoulder bags sold in our Coach Outlet seem more lively and lovely by their unique design Coach Outlet Online and fashionable style. Action now! Coach Handbags Outlet comes in different colors and sizes, which means that you can go in for one that suits you the most. Made up of various rare materials, Our Cheap Coach Purses is what we can call an edgy, rocking and functional casual Coach Factory Outlet carryall with its glazed leather design louis vuitton handbags. Coach Outlet Canada offers all kinds of coach products, including coach handbags, coach wallets, coach purses, coach shoes and so on with http://www.coachfactoryss.org/the best quality and competitive price. Enjoy your shopping time online! Thank you!

Post new comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.